fruits for lupus has established itself as the leading source for organic and organic foods, as it offers a plethora of fresh fruits. The fruits to eat with lupus can help you reduce your suffering or improve your overall health.You know that fruits are good for your health, but do you know why they’re important when you have lupus?
A Lupus Diet That Can Ease Your Symptoms and Improve Your Health
I was diagnosed with lupus when I was 11 years old and have been coping with it for the past 29 years. As a teen, I believed that my health depended solely on my prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the foods I put in my body could also have a significant effect.
It also didn’t dawn on me that my daily consumption of junk food was terrible — and I had no idea there was such a thing as a “lupus diet.”
I first learned about this diet in college. I had been feeling terrible, so my best friend suggested I eat less pizza, tacos and Chinese food, and instead consume more fruits, veggies and lean meats. I took her advice and adopted a lupus diet. With practice, I learned which foods triggered a “lupus flare,” and which ones made me feel 100 times better.
Lupus and Lupus Diets
Lupus is an autoimmune condition that affects the skin, tissues, joints and organs. When you have lupus, your immune system can’t tell the difference between harmful bacteria and your body’s own healthy cells, so it attacks the healthy cells. Lupus symptoms may include swollen joints, chest pain, fever, chronic pain, “butterfly” rashes and weak bones.
A lupus diet, when used with medications, can improve your symptoms and quality of life. As a rule, you should aim for a well-balanced diet, complete with lots of fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy and protein.
Here are just a few of the foods you can include in your diet.
Fatty Fish, Nuts and Seeds
Lupus is an inflammatory disease, so it’s important to consume foods that have anti-inflammatory properties — foods like fatty fish, nuts and seeds. While red meat is generally avoided, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, cod, snapper, halibut, sardines, trout, mackerel and herring are rich in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Protein aids in the healing process, while Omega-3 decreases inflammation in the body. If none of the options listed above seem particularly appetizing, you can always munch on walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts.
People with lupus tend to suffer from recurring infections, so it’s important to add lots of fresh fruits like blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, cherries, oranges and pineapples into your lupus diet. Fruits that are rich in antioxidants can strengthen your immune system and help your body fight off the harmful bacteria intent on destroying your healthy cells.
Low-Fat or Fat-Free Dairy
The most common lupus treatment is steroids, and while this medication eases many lupus symptoms, it can also weaken your bones and increase your risk of fractures. The best way to combat this side effect is to add low-fat or fat-free dairy to your diet. Calcium and vitamin D work together to strengthen your bones, so rather than consuming whole milk, try skim or 1% milk.
Instead of eating full-fat yogurt and cheese, try the low-fat options. If you’re sensitive to dairy, try calcium-rich alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, beans, tofu, calcium-fortified orange juice and dark leafy greens like kale, spinach and broccoli.
Diet Tips for Lupus
Despite what you might have read, there’s no established diet for lupus. Just as with any medical condition, you should aim to eat a healthy blend of foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, plant fats, lean proteins, and fish.
However, certain foods may be better than others for managing your symptoms. Keep reading to find out what to include in your diet.
Switch from red meat to fatty fish
Red meat is full of saturated fat, which can contribute to heart disease. Fish are high in omega-3s. Try to eat more:
Omega-3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that help protect against heart disease and stroke. They can also reduce inflammation in the body.
Get more calcium-rich foods
The steroid drugs you may take to control lupus can thin your bones. This side effect makes you more vulnerable to fractures. To combat fractures, eat foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients strengthen your bones.
Calcium-rich foods include:
- low-fat milk
- calcium-fortified plant milks
- dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli
Ask your doctor about taking a supplement if you’re not getting enough calcium and vitamin D from food alone.
Limit saturated and trans fats
Everyone’s goal should be to eat a diet that’s low in saturated and trans fats. This is especially true for people with lupus. Steroids can increase your appetite and cause you to gain weight, so it’s important to watch what you eat.
Try to focus on foods that will fill you up without filling you out, such as raw vegetables, air-popped popcorn, and fruit.
Avoid alfalfa and garlic
Alfalfa and garlic are two foods that probably shouldn’t be on your dinner plate if you have lupus. Alfalfa sprouts contain an amino acid called L-canavanine. Garlic contains allicin, ajoene, and thiosulfinates, which can send your immune system into overdrive and flare up your lupus symptoms.
People who’ve eaten alfalfa have reacted with muscle pain and fatigue, and their doctors have noted changes on their blood test results.
Skip nightshade vegetables
Although there isn’t any scientific evidence to prove it, some people with lupus find that they’re sensitive to nightshade vegetables. These include:
- white potatoes
- sweet and hot peppers
Keep a food diary to record what you eat. Eliminate any foods, including vegetables, that cause your symptoms to flare up every time you eat them.
Watch your alcohol intake
The occasional glass of red wine or beer isn’t restricted. However, alcohol can interact with some of the medicines you take to control your condition. Drinking while taking NSAID drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Naprosyn), for example, could increase your risk of stomach bleeding or ulcers. Alcohol can also reduce the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) and may increase the potential liver side-effects of methotrexate.
Pass on salt
Set aside the saltshaker and start ordering your restaurant meals with less sodium. Here are some tips:
- order your sauces on the side, they are often high in sodium
- ask for your entrée to be cooked without added salt
- order an extra side of vegetables, which are rich in potassium
Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk for heart disease, while potassium can help combat high blood pressure. Lupus already puts you at higher risk for developing heart disease.
Substitute other spices to enhance food flavor, such as:
- curry powder
A number of herbs and spices have been sold on the web as lupus symptom relievers. But there is very little evidence that any of them work.
These products can interact with drugs you’re taking for lupus and cause side effects. Don’t take any herbal remedy or supplement without first talking to your doctor.
The Best Diet for Lupus: What to Eat & Foods to Avoid
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes pain and inflammation to occur throughout the body, most commonly affecting the skin, joints, and internal organs. Like other autoimmune diseases, lupus develops when the immune system misfires. Instead of fighting against disease and infection as it ought, it attacks healthy tissue. While treatment options can help relieve many of the symptoms of lupus, lifestyle choices — such as your diet — can make a big impact on how lupus affects your body. But what is the right diet for someone with lupus? And what foods should you avoid?
Best Foods to Eat for Lupus
There is no magic diet for people with lupus. Instead, balanced nutrition and healthy lifestyle is the best option to reduce inflammation and flare ups. With that in mind, some foods may provide added benefits to people with lupus.
Foods High in Omega-3s
These foods are known to decrease inflammation as well as improve mood and cardiovascular health. Examples include:
- Fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon, oysters, sardines, shrimp, and trout
- Seaweed and algae
- Chia, flax, and hemp seeds
- Nuts and legumes, such as walnuts, kidney beans, and edamame
Patients with lupus are a greater risk of developing bone disorders such as osteoporosis and osteopenia. Calcium-rich foods can help protect you against some of these conditions. Some foods high in calcium include:
- Dairy products*
- Dark, leafy greens
*Dairy products, while high in calcium, also come with cardiovascular risk since they are high in cholesterol and saturated fats. It is important, therefore, to balance the amount of dairy in your diet.
Foods High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants — such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin E — can help fight against inflammation and other types of cell damage. While the exact benefits for patients with lupus are unproven, some patients find that foods high in antioxidants can help prevent flare ups. These foods include:
- Nuts and legumes
- Oats and granola
- Black and green teas
Foods to Avoid
Some foods contain substances that naturally boost immunity. While this may be a positive thing for a person with a healthy immune system, for someone with lupus it can lead to flare ups and inflammation. Remember, lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system works against itself. Anything that charges the immune system, therefore, inherently runs the risk of increasing the negative effects of an autoimmune condition like lupus. Some common foods to avoid include:
Alfalfa and alfalfa sprouts contain an amino acid known as L-canavanine, which stimulates the immune system. Foods with alfalfa should be avoided completely.
Substances in garlic, such as allicin, ajoene, and thiosulfinates, can boost white blood cells, which ordinarily help the body fight disease. For patients with lupus, however, this charge to the immune system can lead to flare ups. Small amounts of garlic may not cause problems, but it should be avoided when possible.
Foods High in Cholesterol and Saturated Fats
Heart attack risk is 50 times higher in people with lupus, so patients with lupus should be extra vigilant against foods with known links to heart disease, such as red meat, fried foods, and dairy.
Echinacea is an ingredient often found in supplements meant to boost your immune system against colds and other seasonal illnesses. Like the other foods on this list, such a boost is unhealthy for people with an autoimmune condition. Consult your doctor and check the labels of any supplements you take to be sure they are free of Echinacea.
The 20 Best Foods To Fight Lupus
Young, gorgeous, famous and on top of the world: Selena Gomez is the last person you’d expect to come down with a scary, chronic autoimmune disorder. Yet when the “Good for You” singer revealed this week that she’d undergone chemotherapy treatment for the illness, a lot of women realized that they needed to know more about this disease that strikes 1.5 million Americans, primarily women between the ages of 15 and 44.
Lupus sets the immune system into attack mode, but in this case, it starts attacking one’s own body. While lupus is treatable with medication, there is no way to prevent the disease.
“We’d all like to believe eating right and exercising could help prevent autoimmune disease, but if you look at it from a distance, and an objective POV, the data is not rock solid,” says Dr. R. Swamy Venuturupalli, MD FACR is the Clinical Chief of Rheumatology, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and the Co-Chair of the Lupus LA Medical Advisory Board.
Chemicals In Our Food
“I really need to make that clear. The studies have been too small or inconclusive. That said, a society, we go for fast meals, on-the-go, high-energy foods, which generally means we’re overdoing carbs and processed foods. And many of those lead to inflammation, which affects the immune system. There are also big offenders like gluten, soy, peanuts—they seem to capture a lot of people’s sensitivities. Having more anti-inflammatory foods that are raw and have enzymes and vitamins in them that can be processed by the body—that makes sense to me. As do foods rich in Vitamin D and calcium.”
With this in mind, Eat This, Not That! compiled a list of the top anti-inflammatory foods—as well as those high in calcium. And as an added bonus, they’ll help lower your risk of other inflammation-based health issues, from obesity to heart disease.
LUPUS SUPERFOOD #1
Don’t be fooled into thinking the offerings at Pinkberry are going to do your body biome right. All of the processing that frozen yogurt goes through kills off most of the healthy cultures. And even most yogurts you buy in the dairy section are so high in sugar that they’ll do more for the bad bacteria in your belly than they will for the good. If you choose to eat yogurt, look for the words “live active cultures” on the label, and for brands with less than 20 grams of sugar per serving. Most Greek yogurts are higher in protein and lower in sugar than their non-Greek counterparts. And for a mega-dose of healthy proteins—without the inflammation—click on this essential list of best proteins for weight loss.
LUPUS SUPERFOOD #2
Top salads with these seeds for some added crunch, or munch on a one-ounce serving as a snack. In addition to their calcium content, these tiny seeds are also a good source of antioxidant-rich vitamin E and copper—a nutrient that supports white blood cell health.
LUPUS SUPERFOOD #3
Any tea will help soothe your nerves, but white tea packs a particular one-two punch that can actually attack belly fat. A study published in the journion Metabolism showed that white tea can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells). The tea’s combination of caffeine and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) seems to set fat cells up for defeat. We at Eat This, Not That! love tea so much, we made it part of our bestselling new diet plan, The 7-Day FBelly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost 10 pounds in one week!
LUPUS SUPERFOOD #4
While figs may be best known for their inclusion in the famous Fig Newton cookies, you’ll have to eat the whole fruit to reap its bone-building benefits. Chop up fresh or dried figs and add them to oatmeal, salads or Greek yogurt with some honey, cinnamon and slivered almonds. Alternatively, you can eat them whole as a quick, on-the-go snack. Three of them will cost you 110 calories.
LUPUS SUPERFOOD #5
BROCCOLI OR BROCCOLI RABE
It seems mom was onto something when she told you how important it was to eat your broccoli. This cruciferous vegetable is rich in calcium and a host of other good-for-you nutrients—as is its slightly bitter-tasting cousin, broccoli rabe. A cup of the steamed variety has a whopping 301 milligrams of bone-protecting calcium and is a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C, too. Add both veggies to your diet to stay strong and healthy—and to lose weight fast, read these overlooked ways to lose weight!
LUPUS SUPERFOOD #6
This humble root vegetable is a good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and C. That’s a serious line up for such a simple spud. Instead of baking one in the oven, why not tap into your culinary creativity and use the spuds to make some homemade fries? (Who doesn’t love fries?!) After slicing the potato lengthwise into strips, top with coconut oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder, and pop them into the oven on 350 degrees F until they’re crispy.
LUPUS SUPERFOOD #7
While this citrus fruit is best known for its rich vitamin C content, one large orange also provides 74 milligrams of calcium. Enjoy the fruit solo as a snack, or pair some slices with spinach, slivered almonds, grilled chicken, shallots and a ginger dressing to create an Asian-style salad. And to learn which foods NOT to eat, read these unhealthiest foods on the planet.
LUPUS SUPERFOOD #8
Kelp, a variety of sea vegetable, is commonly found in Asian dishes. A cup of the greens serves up 134 milligrams of calcium, in addition to a hefty dose of fiber and iodine—a mineral that helps maintain thyroid health. If you like making homemade smoothies and juice, substitute kelp for kale to reap the benefits. Big fan of miso soup? Throw some kelp into the broth to up its nutritional value.
LUPUS SUPERFOOD #9
A staple of Southern cuisine, collard greens have an incredible ability to cleanse your system of excess cholesterol, especially when steamed. A recent study published in the journal Nutrition Research compared the bile-acid-binding capacity of steamed collard greens to Cholestyramine, a cholesterol-lowering drug. Incredibly, the collards improved the body’s cholesterol-blocking process by 13 percent more than the drug! Just hold the artery-clogging fried chicken. (“But what about kale?” you might be asking. The robust salad staple is a wonderful food to have on hand, but we found 10 Greens Healthier Than Kale!
LUPUS SUPERFOOD #10
White beans serve up not only a healthy dose of belly-filling fiber, muscle-building protein and bloat-busting potassium, but also a significant dose of calcium. Need another reason to add some to your plate? The musical fruit is rich in something called resistant starch, a nutrient that increases metabolism and helps promote fat oxidation and prevents long-term fat accumulation.